About Epistem's Contract Research Services

Our History

Established in 2000 by Prof. Chris Potten and Dr. Cath Booth, Epistem's scientific foundation is based on several decades of ground-breaking stem cell research by Prof. Potten. Based at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research at the Christie Hospital and the University of Manchester, UK, Prof. Potten identified and characterised the location and behaviour of stem cells in the intestine, skin, hair follicle and breast.

To support this revolutionary research, the team developed powerful models to understand the controls of epithelial cell turnover and methods to quantify tissue damage, regeneration and metaplasia. As a result of increasing demand from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for access to these models, Prof. Potten and Dr. Booth formed Epistem.

In 2001, Epistem moved into the current purpose-built facilities featuring specialist in vivo and general 'wet labs' as well as dedicated cell culture, histology and microscope suites. Epistem has continued to expand in these state-of-the-art facilities, developing the portfolio of services into further therapeutic areas and integrating additional academic and industry experts into the team.

Epistem joined the Medical Countermeasures against Radiological Threats (MCART) consortium, part of Project Biosheld in 2006. The initiative is funded by the USA's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to protect the USA against weapons of mass destruction. Epistem's remit within MCART is to develop and validate GI mucositis models and assays to screen potential medical countermeasures of Gastrointestinal - Acute and Delayed Radiation Syndrome. These models and assays are then used to perform pivotal GLP efficacy trials.

In 2014, a second laboratory facility was opened in Baltimore, MD, to provide local support to Epistem’s customers in the USA. The addition of sales offices in Massachusetts and Maryland continue to support a growing demand for services and the expansion of Epistem within the USA. 

Epistem continues to develop innovative and clinically relevant assays and models and is frequently invited to present at international meetings. Maintaining close links with drug development companies, clinicians and academics in the field, Epistem remains a leader in the field of pre-clinical testing.


Epistem co-founder, the late Prof. Chris Potten

Epistem co-founder, the late Prof. Chris Potten